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Johansen & Anderson Inc Blog

The Ducts May Be Why Your AC Costs So Much to Run

duct-sealing-with-caulkingYou expect to pay more on your electrical bills during the height of summer because you have to run the air conditioning system during most days. The compressor in the AC—the heart of the system that is responsible for starting the cooling cycle—draws on large amounts of electricity when it runs.

However, have you noticed that your electrical bills this summer seem, well, much higher than normal? More than you would expect based on how much you use the air conditioner? Inflated utility bills are often warnings that there’s a problem in the HVAC system placing excess stress on the air conditioner. The issue may be inside the AC, but many people don’t realize the source could be in the ductwork.

Leaking ducts

The network of ducts in a house does the job of distributing air from a central AC to the various rooms. Although there are now systems that don’t use ducts for cooling, the majority of homes were built with ductwork for a standard split system air conditioner. The ducts are often made of plastic and a material called Ductboard, with only smaller stretches of sheet metal. Plastic, Ductboard, and sheet metal can develop leaks for a variety of reasons, from loose sections to construction damage. The older the ducts are, the more likely they have air leaks in them.

When cool air escapes from duct leaks, it goes to waste in the closed-off parts of the house where the ducts are hidden. Up to 30% of the cooled air inside the ducts can be lost this way—and that’s air that you’ve already paid to cool. The AC must make up the difference, and bills will rise.

Fixing leaking ducts requires professionals to locate the leaks and seal them using tools like mastic and metallic tapes. (Duct tape isn’t good for this job, ironically enough.) Once the ducts are made airtight again, a home’s cooling bills should return to normal.

Poor duct construction

Your ducts may have been creating trouble for you from the start. Poor ventilation system design, with too many bends and turns, bad insulation, and incorrectly sized ducts makes an HVAC system inefficient in general. Unfortunately, this inferior ductwork design is common in home construction. Chances are high that your home has ducts that can be improved with duct repair and duct replacement. Speak to an HVAC specialist to arrange for duct testing and an inspection that will find out if your AC bills are too high because you need replacements for shoddy ducts.

Leave the ducts to HVAC professionals

If you have steep cooling bills that you think are steeper than they should be, you’ll want experts to get to the bottom of it—whether it’s a ductwork problem or a malfunctioning air conditioner. Look to J&A in Mokena, IL for the air conditioning service to solve any problem. We’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and we respond quickly to your air conditioning and heating needs.

At Johansen & Anderson Inc, we work with air conditioning and ductwork. Call J&A today, sleep tight tonight!

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